Knox County High Point Trip Report

House Mtn, 2 areas (2,080+ ft)

Date: May 28, 2000
Author: Fred Lobdell

House Mountain is now a Tennessee state natural area. There is a network of hiking trails maintained in this area. Access is from the southeast, as much of the northwest side is still privately owned.

From the junction of US 11W and TN 61 about 1.5 miles north of the Knox/Grainger county line, drive southwest on 11W for about 4.3 miles to Idumea Road. Turn right (northwest) on Idumea Rd. and take it to the first intersection, about 0.6 miles from 11W. Turn left (southwest) on Hogskin Road and take it about 0.7 miles to the trailhead parking area for the House Mountain trails. Park here. A sign warns that the gate is closed at dusk, so if you're attempting this one in the late afternoon or early evening, you might want to park on the road rather than in the parking area.

I ascended on the West Overlook trail to the ridge crest. A handout gives the mileage for this trail as 0.9, and calls it "very difficult". I would rate it as moderately strenuous. This yellow-blazed trail climbs about 800 feet to the West Overlook. Here it joins the red-blazed Mountain Crest trail. Follow this latter trail along the ridge line for about a half mile, past the radio tower. At this point the ground to the left (northwest) of the trail will rise to one of the two high points. Bushwhack up to the former lookout tower. Here you will find concrete footings and some concrete slabs. This area has been used as a camping spot, and it was obvious from the trash and human waste around that not all the pigs in Tennessee are to be found on the hog farms.

From this point, regain the trail and continue northeast, past its intersection with the white-blazed Turkey Trail. From here to the East Overlook the trail is unblazed, but easy to follow. I followed it to where the ground obviously fell away in all directions except that from which I had come. The second high point seems to be a large boulder on the southeast side of the trail. I managed to climb high enough on it to place a hand on top of it. From here, backtrack to the Turkey trail and take it down to the blue-blazed Mountain trail. Turn right on the Mountain trail and take it back to the parking area.

According to mileage information from the handout, total mileage for the route given above is 4.0 miles. Elevation gain, including up and down along the ridge line, exceeds 1,100 feet.